How To Get Kids To Pay Attention

how to get kids to pay attention

Wondering how to get kids to pay attention? Child development experts say that, on average, a 4- or 5-year old child should be able to stay focused on a task for two to five minutes times the year of their age. So, young kids should be able to focus between 4 and 20 minutes, possibly more depending on the task. So, please don’t have the expectation that a child can pay attention to you speak for 30 minutes straight. Use these different strategies to break the monotony.

12 Ways of How To Get Kids To Pay Attention:

  1. Ask them to repeat what you just said.
  2. Show a short lesson video.
  3. Have them get up and move.
  4. Have them color pages related to the lesson.
  5. Remove distractions.
  6. Place kids in groups and let them talk about a question.
  7. Let them make up the classroom rules. Here are some essential strategies for classroom discipline.
  8. Play a game.
  9. Create an incentive or reward for listening. The Bible clearly teaches that good is rewarded, so why shouldn’t we be using this approach to motivate our children to action and obedience?
  10. Take them outside of the classroom to a different location for a change.
  11. Let them help teach the lesson.
  12. Have a call or signal they repeat after you. Some call-and-response suggestions include: “One, two, three, eyes on me…One, two, eyes on you!”
    “What are we here for?… To learn!”
    “Can I get a…whoop! whoop!”
    “Are you ready, kids? … Aye, aye, captain!”
    “God is good…All the time!”

It’s been said, if the kids are bored, it’s because the teacher is bored. Engaged students pay attention. With a little creativity, you can make Sunday school fun and exciting for kids and a time that they look forward to.

What are some other things you do to help kids pay attention?  Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.  

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)